Chefs' Recipes

Nik Hill's banoffee trifle

The great Sussex pie, in trifle form.

By Nik Hill
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking (plus cooling)
  • Serves 12 - 14
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"The famed banoffee pie originated in Sussex in the early '70s and has been bastardised ever since," says Hill, formerly of Sydney's Old Fitz Hotel. "This recipe is no different. The flavour of the dark caramel helps balance the sweetness of the bananas and sponge, while the addition of rum gives it a boozy trifle vibe and is a great way to round off a long Sunday lunch."


  • 4 bananas, thickly sliced
  • 100 gm dried banana chips
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting
Victoria sponge
  • 170 gm butter, softened
  • 170 gm caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 3 eggs
  • 170 gm self-raising flour
  • 25 ml whole milk
Rum syrup
  • 100 gm soft brown sugar
  • 100 ml dark rum
  • 300 ml cream
  • 125 gm caster sugar
  • 50 gm butter, diced
  • 3 gm sea salt
Chantilly cream
  • 500 ml (2 cups) pouring cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped, pod reserved, for serving
  • 75 gm icing sugar


  • 1
    For the sponge, preheat oven to 175°C. Grease and line an 18cm round cake tin with baking paper. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (6 minutes), occasionally scraping down side of the bowl with a spatula. Reduce speed to low and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • 2
    Using a spatula, gently fold in flour, then milk, being careful not to overwork the batter. Pour into the prepared tin and bake until sponge is golden and centre springs back when gently pressed with a finger (1 hour). Allow to cool to room temperature in tin, then turn out onto a wire rack.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for the rum syrup, combine sugar and 200ml water in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add rum. Set aside to cool.
  • 4
    For the butterscotch, place cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to 85°C (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, preheat a medium saucepan over high heat. Sprinkle over a third of the caster sugar and cook until a caramel forms (1 minute). Add remaining sugar and cook, without stirring, until a deep golden caramel forms, swirling the pan occasionally (2-3 minutes). Remove pan from heat and carefully pour a third of the warmed cream into the caramel (the mixture will spit and bubble). Return to the heat and bring to the boil, whisking to dissolve any sugar crystals. Repeat with remaining cream until incorporated. Whisk in butter and salt. Strain through a fine sieve; set aside to cool.
  • 6
    For the Chantilly cream, whisk cream, vanilla and icing sugar to stiff peaks.
  • 7
    To assemble the trifle, slice sponge horizontally into three rounds. Spoon a quarter of the butterscotch into the bottom of a 3-litre (preferably glass) serving bowl. Top with a layer of banana. Place a sponge round over banana and drizzle with rum syrup. Add a layer of butterscotch, then a layer of banana. Pipe or spoon a layer of Chantilly cream on top. Repeat layering and drizzling with remaining sponge rounds, butterscotch, banana and Chantilly cream, finishing with a layer of Chantilly.
  • 8
    To serve, dust trifle with cocoa powder and arrange a few banana chips on top before placing the split vanilla pod front and centre.